It’s really nothing to laugh at, but Bahamians since that time, love to rush to report when someone has died, even when they actually haven’t. Death has always been big news on the islands; and the more important the person, the more imperative it is to be the first to report it.

In 1758, John Tinker was poorly and near death. Almost. He had a wife and family in London and it appears, he also had a wife and family in the Bahamas.

Given the time, 1758, and the fact that only ships were used for global transportation of everything from mail to slaves, it took months sometimes for dispatches to reach London from the Bahamas. By 29th September 1758, it was reported in the Public Advertiser of London, that Tinker had been reported dead, but that was in error. Tinker was in fact alive and well enough that he was able to be on his way back to England.

There was only one problem with that bit of news in September, to correct the old news, which was wrong. John Tinker, Esq. had in fact been as dead as a doorknob since 10th July 1758.

By November 1758, after realising that Tinker had in fact been dead for some months, King George II in his esteemed wisdom, appoints William Shirley, Esq as Captain General and Governor in chief of his Majesty’s Bahama Islands in America.

Yes, that’s right. In 1758, the Bahama Islands were said to be a part of America.

And anyone who has ever been to Nassau, must have at some point driven down Shirley Street named after Governor Shirley when the Bahama Islands was in America, but after Tinker was confirmed dead.